Science news

Building a better Honeybee

Aug 21, 2015
Photo: Lou Blouin

Beekeepers have plenty of tough days. But urban beekeeper Steve Rapaski is not having one of those today.

“My mouth is full!” Rapaski shouts, barehanding fistfuls of honey from one of his rooftop bee colonies. “We’re eating honey that is fresh from the hive. And it’s so delicious."

Rapaski has about a hundred colonies in and around Pittsburgh, but he actually hasn’t been around to check on this hive in a month. And now, the bees, which should have been storing their honey neatly on wooden frames have instead built a crazy jagged, mini-mountain range of foot-tall honeycomb inside an empty bee box.

“The good news is that it’s what we call fresh cut-comb honey. But it’s what we call a major screw-up by a beekeeper that should have put frames in there a month ago,” Rapaski says, laughing. 

Jenna Flanagan/WMHT

When President Obama named Michelle Lee as Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, she became the first woman to hold that position in the agency’s 225-year history.

Lee, is working to make sure she’s not an anomaly and bring more women and minorities into STEM careers.

The Innovation Trail’s Jenna Flanagan recently met up with Director Lee in New York City.

“Any goal of the United States Patent and Trademark office at the highest level is to promote innovation. That’s in men women, boys and girls.”

Credit University of Rochester


New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Rochester area Congresswoman Louise Slaughter say that a proposal to have a new photonics institute in Rochester has advanced to the final round of applications. The U.S. Department of Defense is overseeing the funding competition.

Slaughter says the Rochester-led New York State consortium was selected as one of three finalists to submit a full application.

Advanced weather detection system: New York NOW

Jan 16, 2015

Story Begins at 19:00

Is there a way to mitigate the damage caused by devastating storms like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene or the blizzard that blanketed parts of western New York recently?

The science behind "Wind Chill"

Jan 7, 2015


A wind chill advisory remains in effect until 10 Thursday morning.

And while wind chill values may go as low as 20 below zero, even meteorologists admit it's not an exact science.

Tony Ansuini with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says several years ago, the agency changed the way the wind chill temperature index was determined.

He says they changed the formula that was used to compute wind chill values so they didn't sound quite as cold.